Article by Steve Langsam ( Martinez News-Gazette )
Photos by Steve Langsam
The Napa Valley Expo continues to provide a fantastic venue for BottleRock year over year. The constant improvements with larger grass areas, bigger viewing areas for the Jam Cellar Stage and Midway Samsung Stage allow more crowds to stay engaged. The William Sonoma Culinary Stage continues to provide a fantastic product with local athletes Barry Bonds and Charles Woodson to Olympic Gold Medalist Shaun White, and local artists like E-40 and Trey Cool of Green Day mixed with comedy legends George Lopez and world renown chefs like Iron Chef Morimoto all working together to provide a fun alternative show at the festival and a chance to try some tasty bites!
The music this year at BottleRock was great. From first time acts in Napa like Mondo Cozmo and The Wrecks to festival regulars like Trombone Shorty and The Head and The Heart all the way to headliners the Muse, The Killers and Bruno Mars the crowds were amped up and pleased with the music. Not only did the main four stages provide great chances to catch your favorite acts, but the VIP Acoustic Stage and Jam Cellars Lounge gave festival goers an exceptional chance to get up close and personal with the artists. First years BottleRockers’ The Wrecks enjoyed the crowd, “We loved it. It was a great atmosphere and we can’t wait to do it again.”
But the festival was not just about music, the food and drinks were great too and gave an all Napa feeling. It wouldn’t be Napa if the festival didn’t have any wine. There was TONS of wine. Choices from Chardonnay, Merlot, to Rose. You could find anyone of your favorite local Napa wineries in toe with a tasting table. A three story bar from Hendricks Gin allowed fans to be engaged with their performers while waiting for a tasty cocktail that were all sourced with local Napa valley ingredients from honey, lemons and flowers. Adam from Hendricks Gin was pleased with the turnout of his three story bar and the crowd, “I think it’s a really fun way to interact with the crowd and provide great cocktails that bring in the spring and summer festival vibes.” The craft beer choices were plentiful and provided a good alternative to hard alcohol and wine if that wasn’t your thing.
The Culinary Garden provided food from several local Napa restaurants and the food was great. The dishes were as varied as the music, pizza, ribs, tacos, ramen, oysters and ice cream just to name a few. The variety this year continued to excel and next year will surely continue to impress I am sure!
Next year the folks at BottleRock will continue to push the envelope and make sure this is a can’t miss event you need to put on your calendar!